After making its debut a year ago along with a teaser campaign this month, the facelifted 2023 Mitsubishi Xpander Cross has finally arrived in the Philippines. The crossover version of the best-selling small MPV in its segment has been given a new look, improved tech features, and a more premium interior.
The refresh gave the 2023 Mitsubishi Xpander Cross a revised Dynamic Shield grille that’s connected with the black body cladding, along with new T-shaped LED headlights. There are also new LED daytime running lights as opposed to the previous version’s park lights, and also a new set of 17-inch wheels. Minor revisions were also made to its side and rear, such as the LED taillights and the shape of the black plastic cladding to further strengthen its SUV-inspired looks.
In the Philippines, the new Xpander Cross can be had with a two-tone paint scheme (see thumbnail photo), but that’s only available when you opt for Sunrise Orange Metallic and Quartz White Pearl, which is a P10,000 and P25,000 premium, respectively.
As for the interior, the new Xpander Cross adopts the standard model’s more premium dash design. Unlike the Xpander’s brown interior, though, the Xpander Cross wears a black and blue color scheme. The Xpander Cross further sets itself apart with its 8-inch digital gauge cluster that’s lifted from the Montero Sport, but sadly, it doesn’t get the 9-inch infotainment system with wireless charging of overseas models. Instead, we’re getting the same 8-inch infotainment as the local-spec Xpander and Mirage G4, though Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard.
Other creature comforts include an electronic parking brake, digital manual aircon controls, rear USB-A and USB-C ports, and multiple rear seat pockets, just to name a few.
Unsurprisingly, the new Xpander Cross uses the same 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine as the pre-facelift model, which produces 104 hp and 141 Nm of torque. However, whereas global models now use a CVT, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines once again ditched that in favor of the old-school 4-speed automatic–for better or worse. Yes, the response is okay for a 4-speed slushbox, but we’ve now come to a point where all of its CVT-based competitors feel more responsive. On the upside, the old-school tech guarantees its bulletproof reliability.
The driving experience of the new Xpander Cross largely mirrors that of the standard model. They now have the same ground clearance, and thus, the driving experience behind the wheel–especially on a handling perspective–is now pretty much the same. Ride comfort is pretty good and is in fact one of the better ones in the segment, while road and wind noise isolation is also exceptional. As for handling, our current class benchmark is the new BR-V, and while it’s not as sporty as the Honda, it’s still good enough for most people’s needs.
Lastly, as for safety, the new 2023 Mitsubishi Xpander Cross is still almost the same as before. Unfortunately, while most of the competition now offers plenty of airbags and even a host of advanced driver-assistance tech, the Xpander Cross comes with just two airbags. Electronic stability control, on the other hand, is the only driver-assist tech on offer.
Mitsubishi, however, is proud to highlight the new Active Yaw Control feature of the new Xpander Coss. It’s basically their own version of torque vectoring by braking, and we can only do so much in a closed course to tell whether it actually makes a difference or not.
The 2023 Mitsubishi Xpander Cross retails for P1,328,000. Based on our first impressions, the new Xpander Cross looks better than ever, whilst having a premium interior and a few new interesting cabin tech. However, a lot of its competitors offer much more advanced driver-assist features–some of which are at a much lower price point like the Toyota Veloz or Hyundai Stargazer.